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Saturday, March 3, 2012

i didn't take no shortcuts

poetry is impossible to define. which makes trying so much fun.

poetry is the complete concern for each and every detail you're working with. a poem considers everything to be off until every last piece is on. a poem is not satisfied with hierarchy, with either/or, with substance over style, and form vs. function. simply put: the beach remains closed until each speck of sand seems ready. the thing we call poetry is less a genre of language than it is an all-or-nothing attitude toward the complete integration of moving parts—the diction, the syntax, the sound, the syllables, the cadences, the pitch, the images, the implicated, the inscribed, the heat, the trust, the chaos.

for anything to work, it all must sing.

2 comments:

Jabiz said...

This is the best thing you have written in a long time. I want to print it up and post it on my classroom wall. I hope to make some kind of audio something with it too.

Love, love, love!

The thing we call poetry is less a genre of language than it is an all-or-nothing attitude toward the complete integration of moving parts

billieball said...

thats so nice. thanks! my point in writing this is not so much to say something original about poetry (i think most poets operate this way). but rather to suggest that the best non-fiction writers, also, tend to their words with exactly the same level of meticulousness. -i'm not sure how many people know that. gladwell, michael lewis, krakauer, et al., they treat their work with same attention to all the moving parts as do the most obsessive poets. simply put, language is an instrument; our job is to play in key.